Onions are a kitchen and culinary staple. They're also available in a number of sizes, shapes and colors. There's no doubt though that it can get confusing when trying to pick out the type of onions you need for your dish. Would it taste better with Vidalia or red onions? Or maybe the subtle sweetness of shallots works better. Each one has a role in the culinary world.
If you like to buy onions in bulk, you'll want to know how to keep onions fresh. Unfortunately, without proper storage, onions will spoil and start sprouting before you get the chance to use them in cooking. If you want to save money and not worry about tossing onions in the trash, learn how to prolong their shelf life.
How to Store Onions
For the longest time, I thought storing whole onions in the refrigerator gave them a longer shelf life and prevented spoilage. Turns out I was wrong. Onions absorb moisture easily, so the best way to keep whole onions fresh is to store them in a cool, well-ventilated dark place. If exposed to too much moisture, onions will start sprouting and spoil.
Store them in a dry place with cool temperatures, around 40-50 degrees F. Somewhere like a basement, garage, or pantry is a great place to store onions.
Also, it's best to avoid leaving onions in plastic bags. Moisture easily builds up in the bag causing the onions to rot. Alternatively, you can store onions in a mesh bag, open basket, even in pantyhose. This allows proper air circulation and helps prevent molding.
How to Store Cut Onions
Sometimes, you just don't need the entire onion. If you have half an onion leftover, rather than storing it in a dry place, cover in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator.
For peeled, whole onions, you'll also want to keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container to avoid mold and bacteria build-up. As far as sliced and diced onions go, store them in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to ten days. You can also store sliced and diced onions in the freezer for up to six months.
Now that you have the scoop on how to store onions, you can always be sure to have plenty on hand!